Skip to main content
Log in

Potential of a Bacteriophage Isolated from Wastewater in Treatment of Lobar Pneumonia Infection Induced by Klebsiella pneumoniae in Mice

Current Microbiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


The potential of bacteriophages as alternative treatment for multidrug-resistant (MDR) Klebsiella pneumoniae-related infections has recently gained much interest. The purpose of this research was to isolate and characterize a K. pneumoniae-specific lytic phage with the potential to treat experimental lobar pneumonia induced by K. pneumoniae in mice. A lytic phage was isolated from an urban wastewater sample in Tehran and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermal, pH, and chloroform stability before being employed for treatment of mice infected with K. pneumoniae in an experimental model of lobar pneumonia. BALB/C mice were challenged by intranasal inoculation with 108 colony-forming units (CFU/ml) of K. pneumoniae ATCC 10031 followed by an intraperitoneal injection of the isolated phage using 1010 and 109 plaque-forming units (PFU/ml) simultaneously or 24 h post infection. Control groups of mice received bacteria or bacteriophage alone. Mice were euthanized daily up to 7 days post infection and examined for abnormality in their lungs and livers followed by determining the number of phages and bacteria in plasma and lung homogenates. The isolated phage (vB_KpnM-Teh.1) belonged to the Myoviridae family, was stable at 37 °C, pH 7, and was resistant to chloroform. Treatment of mice with a single dose of phage simultaneously at the time of infection, or 24 h post infection, resulted in seven and five logs decrease of CFU/ml in the lung homogenates up to 3 days after phage administration, respectively. The isolated phage may have the potential as a therapeutic agent against K. pneumoniae infections.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Paczosa MK, Mecsas J (2016) Klebsiella pneumoniae: going on the offense with a strong defense. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 80(3):629–661.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Kuehn BM (2013) “Nightmare” bacteria on the rise in US hospitals, long-term care facilities. JAMA 309(15):1573–1574.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Henry M, Lavigne R, Debarbieux L (2013) Predicting in vivo efficacy of therapeutic bacteriophages used to treat pulmonary infections. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57(12):5961–5968.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Lin TL, Hsieh PF, Huang YT, Lee WC, Tsai YT, Su PA, Pan YJ, Hsu CR, Wu MC, Wang JT (2014) Isolation of a bacteriophage and its depolymerase specific for K1 capsule of Klebsiella pneumoniae: implication in typing and treatment. J Infect Dis 210(11):1734–1744.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Chhibber S, Kaur S, Kumari S (2008) Therapeutic potential of bacteriophage in treating Klebsiella pneumoniae B5055-mediated lobar pneumonia in mice. J Med Microbiol 57(Pt 12):1508–1513.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Kumari S, Harjai K, Chhibber S (2010) Evidence to support the therapeutic potential of bacteriophage Kpn5 in burn wound infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae in BALB/c mice. J Microbiol Biotechnol 20(5):935–941.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Bogovazova GG, Voroshilova NN, Bondarenko VM (1991) The efficacy of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteriophage in the therapy of experimental Klebsiella infection. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 4:5–8

    Google Scholar 

  8. Drulis-Kawa Z, Mackiewicz P, Kesik-Szeloch A, Maciaszczyk-Dziubinska E, Weber-Dabrowska B, Dorotkiewicz-Jach A, Augustyniak D, Majkowska-Skrobek G, Bocer T, Empel J, Kropinski AM (2011) Isolation and characterisation of KP34–a novel phiKMV-like bacteriophage for Klebsiella pneumoniae. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 90(4):1333–1345.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kęsik-Szeloch A, Drulis-Kawa Z, Weber-Dąbrowska B, Kassner J, Majkowska-Skrobek G, Augustyniak D, Łusiak-Szelachowska M, Żaczek M, Górski A, Kropinski AM (2013) Characterising the biology of novel lytic bacteriophages infecting multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Virol J 10(1):1.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Jin J, Li Z-J, Wang S-W, Wang S-M, Huang D-H, Li Y-H, Ma Y-Y, Wang J, Liu F, Chen X-D (2012) Isolation and characterization of ZZ1, a novel lytic phage that infects Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates. BMC Microbiol 12(1):156.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Majdani R (2016) Isolation of lytic bacteriophages against pathogenic Escherichia coli strains in poultry in the northwest of Iran. Arch Razi Inst 71(4):235–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kusradze I, Karumidze N, Rigvava S, Dvalidze T, Katsitadze M, Amiranashvili I, Goderdzishvili M (2016) Characterization and testing the efficiency of Acinetobacter baumannii phage vB-GEC_Ab-M-G7 as an antibacterial agent. Front Microbiol 7:1590.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. D’Andrea MM, Marmo P, De Angelis LH, Palmieri M, Ciacci N, Di Lallo G, Demattè E, Vannuccini E, Lupetti P, Rossolini GM (2017) φBO1E, a newly discovered lytic bacteriophage targeting carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae of the pandemic Clonal Group 258 clade II lineage. Sci Rep.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Dallal MMS, Nikkhahi F, Alimohammadi M, Douraghi M, Rajabi Z, Foroushani AR, Azimi A, Fardsanei F (2019) Phage therapy as an approach to control salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis infection in mice. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 52:e20190290.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Kropinski AM (2018) Practical Advice on the One-Step Growth Curve. Bacteriophages, vol 1681. Springer/Humana Press, New York, pp 41–47.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  16. Soleimani Sasani M, Eftekhar F, Hosseini M (2019) Isolation and characterization of a Klebsiella pneumoniae specific lytic bacteriophage from a hospital waste-water treatment plant. J Med Microbiol 7(1):6–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Fokine A, Rossmann MG (2014) Molecular architecture of tailed double-stranded DNA phages. Bacteriophage 4(2):e28281.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. Adriaenssens E, Brister JR (2017) How to name and classify your phage: an informal guide. Viruses 9(4):70.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. Komijani M, Bouzari M, Rahimi F (2016) Detection and characterization of a novel lytic bacteriophage (vB-KpneM-Isf48) against Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from infected wounds carrying antibiotic-resistance genes (TEM, SHV, and CTX-M). Iran Red Crescent Med J. press)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Paterson DL, Bonomo RA (2005) Extended-spectrum β-lactamases: a clinical update. Clin Microbiol Rev 18(4):657–686.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Cao F, Wang X, Wang L, Li Z, Che J, Wang L, Li X, Cao Z, Zhang J, Jin L, Xu Y (2015) Evaluation of the efficacy of a bacteriophage in the treatment of pneumonia induced by multidrug resistance Klebsiella pneumoniae in mice. Biomed Res Int 2015:752930.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. Malik R, Chhibber S (2009) Protection with bacteriophage KO1 against fatal Klebsiella pneumoniae-induced burn wound infection in mice. J Microbiol Immunol Infect 42(2):134–140

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Hung C-H, Kuo C-F, Wang C-H, Wu C-M, Tsao N (2011) Experimental phage therapy in treating Klebsiella pneumoniae-mediated liver abscesses and bacteremia in mice. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 55(4):1358–1365.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Morello E, Saussereau E, Maura D, Huerre M, Touqui L, Debarbieux L (2011) Pulmonary bacteriophage therapy on Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis strains: first steps towards treatment and prevention. PLoS ONE 6(2):e16963.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the Shahid Beheshti Reserch Council (Grant No. 600/1724).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



MSS: designed and performed experiments, analyzed data, and co-wrote the paper. FE: supervised the research, corresponding author.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fereshteh Eftekhar.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest associated with this manuscript.

Ethical Approval

This study has been approved by the Animals Ethics Committee at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran under the reference no. IR.SBU.REC.1398.020.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Soleimani Sasani, M., Eftekhar, F. Potential of a Bacteriophage Isolated from Wastewater in Treatment of Lobar Pneumonia Infection Induced by Klebsiella pneumoniae in Mice. Curr Microbiol 77, 2650–2655 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: